Over the past several weeks, Americans were shocked to see undercover videos of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, discussing harvesting and trafficking organs from aborted babies—a disturbing practice that many did not know Planned Parenthood performed.
To blindly continue Planned Parenthood funding would be irresponsible.
Chatting casually while eating a salad and sipping wine, Nucatola displayed a cavalier attitude almost as unsettling as the brutal activity she described. Since then, eight more videos have been released by the Center for Medical Progress, including many with graphic footage and compelling whistleblower testimony.
Federal law prohibits selling fetal tissue for profit. It also prohibits changing the procedure of an abortion in order to preserve fetal tissue. These videos raise serious concerns that Planned Parenthood is violating these provisions of the law.
In one video, a medical director for the group says each organ or tissue sample should be priced individually, “just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” In another, a research director says, “If we alter our process and we’re able to obtain intact fetal cadavers, it’s all a matter of line items.” While haggling for a higher price for fetal body parts, Planned Parenthood’s medical council president joked, “I want a Lamborghini.”
As more and more troubling footage is revealed, Planned Parenthood continues to use every public-relations ploy in the book to downplay its actions and pressure the media into ignoring this important story. These chilling admissions cannot be hidden by slick Twitter and television campaigns. Despite protests from Planned Parenthood and its powerful political allies, a full and thorough investigation is required.
When these allegations first came to light in July, I joined my conservative colleagues in the House of Representatives in calling for an immediate congressional investigation. Now, three House committees are examining the extent of Planned Parenthood’s actions to determine the scale and scope of wrongdoing. This much we already know: Planned Parenthood’s culture and practices of putting its financial interests ahead of the lives of mothers and unborn babies is unconscionable.
Defunding and fully investigating Planned Parenthood is the moral imperative of our time.
While investigating this past bad behavior is a start, I believe that Congress must take further action to prevent taxpayers from being forced to be complicit in wanton disregard for life and the law. We also must strengthen our laws to prevent the heinous practices of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. Republican Study Committee members have worked for years to end federal funding for abortion providers but have been blocked by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats.
Any group that receives taxpayer funding should not be able to receive funds if it is under investigation for potentially illegal activity. Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million each year in federal funding, constituting nearly 40 percent of its total revenue. To blindly continue this funding would be irresponsible. That is why I support H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, introduced by my colleague Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. This bill would put a one-year moratorium on all federal funding for Planned Parenthood while Congress conducts a full investigation into the group’s activities.
During the moratorium, an equal amount of government funding would be allocated to other health providers, including community health clinics that provide vital services and comprehensive health care for women. There are more than 13,500 community health clinics already operating across the country. In comparison, there are fewer than 700 clinics nationwide affiliated with Planned Parenthood. For every Planned Parenthood clinic, there are nearly 20 health care facilities that provide comprehensive women’s health care.
The Planned Parenthood videos have forced us to confront the stark reality of the horrors of abortion. Many of us have sounded the alarm for years, including Abby Johnson in my district, who was a Planned Parenthood employee of the year until witnessing these brutal procedures on an ultrasound, which caused her to quit. Today, she is a leading pro-life supporter and helps other concerned Planned Parenthood employees leave the organization.
We must follow Abby’s example. Knowing what we do, we cannot turn a blind eye or refuse to act. Defunding and fully investigating Planned Parenthood is not only our responsibility; it is the moral imperative of our time.